David is chairman and founding owner of The Environment Bank Ltd which he set up in 2006 to introduce the concept of compensation, via biodiversity offsetting, net gain and habitat banking, into the UK. David’s concept of biodiversity compensation, ensuring developments provide net gains to biodiversity, has been embedded into the government’s 25-year Environment Plan, the National Planning Policy Framework and the Environment Bill. It is to be enacted in law in 2021 whereby biodiversity net gain becomes a mandatory legal requirement of the planning and development control system.
David was Deputy Chair of Natural England until 2016 and a member of the government’s Ecosystem Markets Taskforce. He is a Board Trustee of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, chairman of Plantlife International, a Commissioner with the Food Farming and Countryside Commission, chair of the Northern Upland Chain Nature Partnership and co-founder of the NatureSpace Partnership providing district licencing solutions for protected species involving the creation of habitat to improve the way the species are conserved within the planning system.
He is a passionate conservationist and wildlife photographer. He has a farm dedicated to conservation in Nidderdale and Swaledale, North Yorkshire.